Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

GUI To Facilitate Research on Biological Damage From Radiation

A graphical-user-interface (GUI) computer program has been developed to facilitate research on the damage caused by highly energetic particles and photons impinging on living organisms. The program brings together, into one computational workspace, computer codes that have been developed over the years, plus codes that will be developed during the foreseeable future, to address diverse aspects of radiation damage. These include codes that implement radiation-track models, codes for biophysical models of breakage of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) by radiation, pattern-recognition programs for extracting quantitative information from biological assays, and image-processing programs that aid visualization of DNA breaks.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP, Briefs, TSP

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On-Demand Urine Analyzer

A lab-on-a-chip was developed that is capable of extracting biochemical indicators from urine samples and generating their surface-enhanced Raman spectra (SERS) so that the indicators can be quantified and identified. The development was motivated by the need to monitor and assess the effects of extended weightlessness, which include space motion sickness and loss of bone and muscle mass. The results may lead to developments of effective exercise programs and drug regimes that would maintain astronaut health.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Patient Monitoring

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Advanced Liquid-Cooling Garment Using Highly Thermally Conductive Sheets

This garment provides metabolic heat rejection applicable to surgical cooling vests, combat fatigues, and firefighter and hazmat suits. This design of the liquid-cooling garment for NASA spacesuits allows the suit to remove metabolic heat from the human body more effectively, thereby increasing comfort and performance while reducing system mass. The garment is also more flexible, with fewer restrictions on body motion, and more effectively transfers thermal energy from the crewmember’s body to the external cooling unit. This improves the garment’s performance in terms of the maximum environment temperature in which it can keep a crewmember comfortable.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Coatings & Adhesives

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Engineering Devices to Treat Epilepsy

Intelligent implantable epilepsy devices will likely be tuned to individual patients, and may need to predict events rather than merely detect them. Many technologies have been proposed for treating epileptic seizures, with the ultimate goal being implantation of stimulators or drug infusion devices in the brain to abort seizures before clinical onset. Device designs range from “blind” stimulators to “intelligent” devices, which are triggered by detecting or predicting seizure onset. Intelligent implantable epilepsy devices will likely process multiple channels of data, be tuned to individual patients, and may need to predict events rather than merely detect them.

Posted in: Treatment Devices, Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Drug Delivery & Fluid Handling, Implants & Prosthetics

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More-Realistic Digital Modeling of a Human Body

A MATLAB computer program has been written to enable improved (relative to an older program) modeling of a human body for purposes of designing space suits and other hardware with which an astronaut must interact. The older program implements a kinematic model based on traditional anthropometric measurements that do provide important volume and surface information. The present program generates a three-dimensional (3D) whole-body model from 3D body-scan data. The program utilizes thin-plate spline theory to reposition the model without need for additional scans.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs

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A Finite-Element Model for Evaluation of Middle Ear Mechanics

This model can be used in reconstruction of the link between the eardrum and the inner ear. In conductive hearing loss cases, 59% involve defects of the incus. For efficient restoration of hearing, the defective incus is normally removed and the mechanical link between the eardrum and inner ear is reconstructed. In cases of incus defects, the reconstruction is normally of the form of a rod, positioned to connect the malleus handle or eardrum directly to the cochlea oval window. A more promising approach to prosthesis design is to reconstruct the chain along more physiologically relevant lines. It has been shown that excellent reconstruction of the ossicular chain can be achieved using a generic incus shape. In a series of in vitro studies, it was shown that secure attachment of the prosthesis to the stapes and malleus, with ionomeric cement, could restore hearing within 10 dB of the original frequency response. This study attempts to model these in vitro findings using a finite element computer model. The goal of the study is to produce a computer model that can be used to simulate different forms of attachment to the prosthesis.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP, Briefs, TSP

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Optoelectronic pH Meter: Further Details

A collection of documents provides further detailed information about an optoelectronic instrument that measures the pH of an aqueous cell-culture medium to within ±0.1 unit in the range from 6.5 to 7.5. The instrument at an earlier stage of development was reported in “Optoelectronic Instrument Monitors pH in a Culture Medium” (MSC-23107), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 9 (September 2004), page 4a.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP

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